I’m writing this as I lay in bed with a feverish child sleeping in my arms, Peppa Pig still playing on the T.V. His little (by 2 minutes) sis is stirring in her crib, letting out a sporadic croupy cough here and there. My husband is away on a business trip until tomorrow, or else I would send him in to check on our other sick little one.
I often wonder how it would work to parent twins alone. Recently, I’ve had a taste of it myself.
When we first had P&G, my husband had just started a new job and his schedule was extremely demanding. He worked six days a week and was typically gone 13 hours a day. Fortunately, for the first six weeks post-birth I had my parents living with us, helping me with the babies 24/7. Once they left, I hired a nanny to help me two days a week for awhile. However, even though my husband often returned home once the babies were already in bed, he was at least able to help with the 2 AM feeding, bottle cleaning and housework.
Now with almost-2-year-olds under my watch, my husband’s travel schedule has been picking up. Last week he was gone the entire week – and again, I hired a nanny to help me out for a couple days, which I am aware I am so fortunate to be able to do.
But let’s examine the nanny subject. Hiring a nanny does not mean I get to sit back and relax. Having a nanny, with toddler twins, just facilitates my ability to take my kids places. Yes, for a time it was at least feasible to take them out and about with just me and them pre-mobility, as they just sat or lay on the ground (although that stage came with its own separate set of challenges). But now that they walk, there is no more visiting public places with just the three of us (or with just them and a nanny), unless I’m cool with one or both of them running away or injuring themselves. No…having a nanny allows me to safely (and sanely) manage my super active kids in public.
I suppose my point here is: Parenting twins is often tiring, stressful, and leaves you with the feeling that you’re short a hand or two, and those are feelings I have with a partner and occasional hired help. And as single parenting has been weighing heavily on my mind lately, it’s hard for me to fathom how I could juggle this twin parenthood thing without a partner to at least help alleviate some of the morning or evening duties.
I’ve worn many hats since becoming a mom, and the single mom hat has been the most challenging. To all the single moms out there – of one, two or ten kids – hats off to you my friends. I have much respect for you!